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Mark Lennihan / AP

Carl Icahn's resignation Friday from an unpaid post as Trump's adviser on deregulation was because he knew The New Yorker was about to drop a deep piece of reporting about him, according to AP:

"[T]he magazine points out potential conflicts and even possible criminal law violations involving obscure rules that require oil refineries to blend ethanol into gasoline."And Icahn resigned after the White House had already disavowed him to The New Yorker. "[T]here was never a formal appointment."Here's the juicy New Yorker piece, "Trump's Favorite Tycoon ... Carl Icahn's Failed Raid on Washington," by staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe: "Icahn is worth more than the Trump family and all the members of the Cabinet combined — and, with no constraint on his license to counsel the President on regulations that might help his businesses, he was poised to become much richer.""In conversations with me, financiers who have worked with Icahn described his appointment as a kind of corporate raid on Washington. One said, 'It's the cheapest takeover Carl's ever done.'""In our conversations, Icahn was unfailingly polite about President Trump. But it struck me that it must vex him that Trump — the lesser intellect, the lesser businessman, the little-brother tagalong — may now be too busy to take his phone calls."This is a great sentence: "Trump may want to govern like a businessman. But Washington is a club like any other, with some codes and protocols that even the brashest arrivistes cannot ignore."The whole thing is worthy of your time.

Go deeper

5 hours ago - World

Biden seeks to reboot U.S. sanctions policy

Sanctions increased under Obama and dramatically under Trump. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Biden administration is rethinking the U.S. approach to sanctions after four years of Donald Trump imposing and escalating them.

The big picture: Sanctions are among the most powerful tools the U.S. has to influence its adversaries’ behavior without using force. But they frequently fail to bring down regimes or moderate their behavior, and they can increase the suffering of civilians and resentment of the U.S.

5 hours ago - World

Merkel's farewell spoiled by Poland crisis at EU summit

One last awkward EU "family photo." Photo: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Angela Merkel took up her vaunted mantle as Europe's crisis manager for what could be the last time tonight, as she urged the EU to find compromise in its showdown with Poland.

Why it matters: The European Commission has threatened to withhold over $40 billion in pandemic recovery funds after Poland's constitutional tribunal — stacked with loyalists from the ruling right-wing populist party — rejected the principle that EU law has primacy over national law.

Republicans who put it all on the line

Rep. Nancy Mace speaks with reporters after voting to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A small contingent of House Republicans risked their political futures on Thursday, they say, in the name of constitutional responsibility.

Why it matters: The nine Republicans who voted to hold former Trump aide Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress are now in peril of becoming political pariahs. They've opened themselves up to potential primary challengers and public attacks from their party's kingmaker — former President Trump.